Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the premier green-building rating system and has been accepted as the standard by Jacksonville, Florida, many in the business world, lending institutions, and the capital markets.
Green building aims to promote sustainable living by reducing or eliminating negative environmental impacts while improving the design, construction, and operations of buildings. Green building also has economic benefits as LEED-certified projects have been shown to reduce operating costs and enhance marketability.
Presently, there are eight existing LEED-certified projects in Jacksonville, including a credit union, office buildings, a distribution center, a high school, and several university buildings.
In an encouraging sign, there are more than 50 additional LEED projects in the certification pipeline. These projects include the new Jacksonville Courthouse, several City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Electric Authority buildings, many privately owned office and industrial buildings, and higher- and lower-education facilities.
Most projects are located in Jacksonville, but St. Augustine has four projects and Fernandina has one.
LEED has several rating classifications. Most projects are for new construction of entire buildings with a few applying only to the core and shell or the commercial interiors. There also are several projects vying for the existing building operations and maintenance rating.
Incentives offered by the City of Jacksonville, lending institutions, and the capital markets will continue to drive the desire for LEED certification of newly constructed and existing buildings. Permit applications, construction contracts, financing documents, and lease provisions should all be coordinated with the LEED certification goals and contain adequate incentives to keep the team (e.g., owner/landlord/borrower, lender, contractor, architect, tenant, and so forth) moving toward LEED certification, which cannot be accomplished until after the building is constructed and, for the existing building rating certification, operated for a minimum period.
Foley will continue to provide updates on incentives offered as well as suggestions on how to keep LEED projects coordinated through and beyond a successful LEED certification.
Legal News Alert is part of our ongoing commitment to providing up-to-the-minute information about pressing concerns or industry issues affecting our clients and colleagues.
If you have any questions about this alert or would like to discuss the topic further, please contact your Foley attorney or the following:
Emerson M. Lotzia